‘These were Old’: Early English viol makers
Although early English viols are so important and highly reputed, few have survived. In the absence of the instruments themselves, it is nevertheless possible to illuminate their nature by understanding the circumstances of their creation. Understanding makers should improve our ability to recognize the sort of work they might have done and hence our ability to discern which, if any, features of an extant instrument are original. It also provides essential support for attempts to make credible reconstructions of the kind/s of viols these makers made. Ultimately it may help to explain the reputation of their work. The previous chapter investigated viol makers’ working practices and the organization of their trade, and Chapter 7 will look at their material resources.